Former President Donald Trump’s attempt to overturn the will of the state’s 3.3 million voters was so weak and time-consuming that he and his lawyers should be punished for squandering taxpayer resources, Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers said in a federal court filing.
Donald Trump should be ordered to pay Wisconsin $145,000 to cover the legal expenses the state racked up defending against the former president’s “haphazard” election-fraud lawsuit, the state told a judge.
Trump’s attempt to overturn the will of the state’s 3.3 million voters was so weak and time-consuming that he and his lawyers should both be punished for squandering taxpayer resources, Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers said in a filing Wednesday in federal court in Milwaukee.
“There is no reason for Wisconsin taxpayers to bear the cost of this attempt to hijack the democratic process,” Evers said in the filing.
The lawsuit was one of more than 60 unsuccessful cases brought by Trump and his allies trying to overturn election results in battleground states like Wisconsin, which narrowly went for Joe Biden. A federal appeals court affirmed the rejection of Trump’s Wisconsin case, and the U.S. Supreme Court denied review.
“We completely disagree with the allegations and we’ll be responding in due course,” Trump’s lawyer in the case, William Brock, said in a phone call.
Evers, a Democrat, also asked the judge to issue additional punitive sanctions against Trump and his lawyers to discourage future litigation that aims to challenge election results without proper legal claims to do so.
“From the moment they filed this lawsuit until the Supreme Court denied review, Trump and his attorneys litigated in bad faith,” Evers’s lawyer, Jeffrey Mandell, said in the filing.
Trump’s 70-page lawsuit was doomed from the beginning, the state said, because it “did not clearly identify any cognizable cause of action” and “did not enumerate the essential elements of any legal claim much less attempt to meet those elements.”
Even after the state flagged the deficiencies to Trump, the president’s attorneys failed to amend the complaint and instead “repeatedly announced different formulations of the relief he was seeking, all of which suffered from significant constitutional and logical flaws,” according to the filing.
“Trump and his attorneys were either reckless or extremely negligent at every step of this litigation,” Evers said.